So how did Jake and Dawg save their lives? Were they in danger?
You're asking this because they could have gotten outside help, right?
Let's use a fun analogy...
You are strapped to a huge barrel of explosives, with a very long, slow fuse buring. It's a 6 hour duration fuse. When it gets to the barrel you die. You can't move or twist or get to the fuse. You look over and other loved ones are firmly strapped to the barrel too. They can't move or reach the burning fuse. You have a working cell phone. You believe that dialing 911 will get the police there in about 3 hours.
Are you in danger then? Does anyone in their right mind think otherwise? Yes, absolutely, you are in danger.
Along comes someone else who stumbles across your plight, cuts the fuse, and releases you. Did he/she save your lives? Yes he/she did, just as surely as the police would be saving your lives otherwise.
--end of analogy--
Even slow danger is danger. Yes, Dawg and Jake saved the crew's lives. For them to say it's no big deal, that someone else (Coast Guard, Navy) could also have saved their lives would be ingratious at best.
P.S. I believe this is one of the reasons why people have differing views on many things -- time horizons. When you add long term effects and short term effects to a political discussion, you learn a lot.